Family Structure, Family Process, and Adolescent Well-Being

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David H. Demo, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This article examines the influence of family structure and family relation- ships on adolescent well-being. Using a subsample (N = 850) of data collected in the National Survey of Families and Households, we examine socioemotional adjustment, academic performance, and global well-being among adolescents (ages 12 to 18) living in the four most prevalent family structures in the United States: (a) intact first-married family units, (b) divorced, single- parent families, (c) stepfamilies, and (d) continuously single mothers and their children, one of the fastest growing types of households. These four family types vary dramatically on socioeconomic characteristics and rneasures of family relations. Compared to the other family types, families headed by continuously single mothers have the lowest income, whereas divorced families and stepfamilies report the highest levels of mother-adolescent disagreement and the lowest levels of parental supervision and mother-adolescent interaction, Unadjusted comparisons across family types reveal that adolescents in first-rnarried families have slightly higher scores on all three measures of well-being, but few of the differences are statistically significant, Regression analyses indicate that the strongest and most consistent predictor of adolescent well-being is mother-adolescent disagreement, Other family process variables directly involving the mother-adolescent dyad (mother-adolescent interaction, aggression, and support) are consistently related to adolescent adjustment, academic performance, and well-being.

Additional Information

Journal of Research on Adolescence, 6, 457-488.
Language: English
Date: 1996
Family theory, Family relationships, Adolescent wellness, Self-esteem

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